The Genie is out of the bottle, and nothing can be done now. It is going to transform not just your homes but your whole workplace and much more.
Well, don’t get so excited it is not the Genie from the Aladdin’s Magic Lamp.
I am talking about the Genie of the technical world. And it is the big word in the town, i.e. Artificial Intelligence a.k .a. AI.
Artificial Intelligence is not a new phenomenon. It has been growing for the past 70 or more years. Now, you might be wondering then how come it has become a buzzword in recent years. It is merely because of the capacity we have reached in the technical world to store and analyse data limitlessly.
Strictly speaking, AI is not a stand-alone technology. It is a harmonious culmination of several other innovations in technology. It is in a pure sense just like our intelligence. We can make intelligent decisions because millions of data that are filtering in through our sense organs – ears eyes, tongue, skin and nose are taken to a centre called ‘mind.’ It captures the essential and most accurate data and combinations to perform the day to day ordinary activities of life, like walking cautiously, identifying dangers, perceive colours etc.
AI is merely an analogy to the human way of doing things. It is using digital sensors like audio and video devices, heat sensors, and neural network emulation to filter and bring out the best possible course of action. But the most defining feature of AI is its ability to augment its performance like a self-thinking machine, based on user behaviour data, expert systems, inference engines, etc.
Workplaces are defined by the kind of work that is undertaken there. A healthcare workplace industry will be entirely different from an industrial workplace. Irrespective of the workplace, AI offers the Midas’s touch for every type of workplace.
But how AI finds relevance there?
Because data and its analysis is the key to all real-world work, and AI is the Genie of that world.
It will make anything possible.
Now, let us see how AI can transform the traditional workplaces, and solve the problem of poor performance that managers have been wrestling with for ages.
1. Learning and Education – With AI education is witnessing a complete overhaul. Gone are the days when a teacher would have to spend late nights to record, compile and analyse marks and performance of each student. AI with its better analytical and data handling skills can provide productive time for teachers and professors to focus on better things.
Now, you won’t have to imagine how the Maasai tribe of Africa hunted animals. You can speak aloud your doubt, and the AI enabled speech recogniser will fetch you and could arrange even a live video chat with the tribes and see it for yourself.
Cognitive research has shown that students retain better when they have the first-hand experience of what they are learning. Reading and pictures can take you only so far in learning. AI-based classrooms will help students perform and contribute better.
2. Healthcare- The synergy of robotics and AI can revolutionise the whole healthcare system. Already this teamwork has stunned the world with Da Vinci- a medical robot- performing an eye operation.
After banking, healthcare could be the next industry that is generating a mountain of data. Hospital data management systems can be designed using an online performance management software like Liferay, Bitrix24, Microsoft Sharepoint, etc. Once the data is online the AI can use various networking and analytical pathways to process, classify and schedule appointments, send reminders to doctors, patients, etc. The resultant advantage will be for the nurses and other supporting staffs to put their efforts into more human aspects of healthcare like, emotionally supporting patients, motivating them, and increasing their morale.
3. Manufacturing Sector – The world is going through the fourth industrial revolution, and AI is the one that is initiating it. From steam engines, we have come a long way to intelligent transport systems.
One of the contributions is the predictive maintenance of pieces of equipment and manufacturing tools. This system of support uses advanced AI algorithms along with machine learning and artificial neural networks to give real-time reports about the status of the various parts of machines.
We are going to have machines who will approach us and say “ I am going to be sick.”
Today customer expectation on products and its life has also changed substantially. Quality 4.0 aspects to deliver perfect and quality products require AI optimised equipment. It is going to take product performance to new levels.
4. Energy Sector – If you are following international relations closely, then you must have observed that the biggest concern for governments all over the world is energy and ‘green’ is the word they are all keen on using.
Well, they do have a point, to dream about the AI magical world is ok, but on what will it stand?
Yes, energy is the most critical aspect of all the developments.
Equally important is the environment. You may have all the intelligence at your hands but what will be a world without trees, birds, wildlife, rivers. They have inspired us all through our evolutionary journey. How uninspiring will be the world without them?
Thus AI has an existential role to play in balancing the energy needs and help us restore the technology and ecology ratio. Smart grids are already rolling out in different parts of the world to integrate conventional and green sources of energy. AI will be the centre of smart grids. From analysing energy usage charts to developing user-based energy plans and energy behaviour can help each to save energy and thus contribute to saving our planet.
5. Media and entertainment – If there is a sector which can transform its workplace sooner with AI then it is Media and entertainment.
Marketing and advertising are already using it.
You may have observed that you are getting emails and alerts related to the last products you bought on Amazon. They are monitoring your net behaviour and traffic to create possible preferences and channelise advertisements accordingly.
The content producers rely heavily on metadata to find relevant contents. Today vast amount of data is continuously generating through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. The news media requires the links to dig up old news which hasn’t been categorised with proper metadata tags. Here AI can make their life simple, if they apply machine learning to the whole unstructured content and tag them to generate meaningful content searches. MapR-FS is one such system.
AI had a chequered journey in the 20th century. But the 21st century is, showing a collective spirit in letting this Genie of the technical world realise its full potential. Much depends on the ability of Artificial Intelligence-based technologies to solve the existential problems that humanity is facing today.